Is today really the day?

This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.   Psalm 118:24

To me, this verse from Psalms is one of the most misquoted verses in the entire Bible.  We are told to be happy, because God made today and we should rejoice and be glad in it. We even sing a catchy praise chorus about it.

But what if today sucks?  What if my wife left me, or I found out I have cancer?  What if I don’t feel much like rejoicing in today?  What if everything in my life screams against me being happy?  I believe there is a meaning to this verse that goes much deeper than the “be happy” theology we have been force fed.

Let’s expand the context of the verse a little, adding in the two previous verses as well:

The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the LORD’s doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

There is a much better day to rejoice and be glad in:  the day the stone which the builders rejected became the chief cornerstone.  The day Jesus died and rose again.  That’s the day to rejoice in, because that day changed everything.  When we think about that day, and its implications in our lives for all of eternity, there is no more need for “forced happiness”.

We can rejoice in that day because it changed our outlook forever.  It doesn’t matter how terrible my life is right now, I can rejoice that Jesus redeemed me to God.  It doesn’t matter if my life is falling apart, I can be glad in the fact that one day my suffering will be over and I will be with Him for eternity.  Now that’s cause for rejoicing.

So if today you are not feeling very happy, that’s okay.  Look to the day that Jesus changed everything.  Look at the Savior who gave His very life for you, and rejoice that He is with you in the middle of your suffering, and will one day take you home.

The depth of that truth is something a catchy praise chorus could never replace.

  1. #1 by Erica on February 8, 2011 - 9:43 AM

    Boy, did this encourage me today! Thanks, Dave. Taking verses out of context has been a common thing to do in the church community. What a depth there is to that truth!

    • #2 by Dave Kirby on February 8, 2011 - 12:39 PM

      Thanks Erica. Glad the Lord could use me to encourage you today. 🙂

  2. #3 by Erica on February 8, 2011 - 1:03 PM

    Yes, it was a real encouragement. God reminded me this morning that I can trust His character no matter what happens. I can trust Him to do the right thing. He is with me in the midst of my sorrow today.

  3. #4 by Bill Lurwick on February 8, 2011 - 1:20 PM

    Hey man…

    Thanks for puttin’ this up. Great encouragement.
    Hope you, are havin that kind of day today…looking to what’s ahead my friend!

  4. #5 by compassiondave on February 8, 2011 - 5:42 PM

    I dunno Dave, I have to respectfully disagree. Consider another David (the royal one) who also had a bad day or two. What did he chose to do (as per Psalm 34)? He blessed the Lord at all times, praised Him continually, boasted of and magnified Him. Just so happens I blogged about it today…here: http://compassiondave.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/i-will-bless/

    Peace!

    • #6 by Dave Kirby on February 9, 2011 - 3:35 PM

      While I agree that David had more than his share of trouble, and learned to glorify God even in that trouble, I still believe this specific passage is a Messianic prophecy and directs us to rejoice ultimately in the work of Messiah Jesus.

      There is plenty of support for that notion in the new testament as well. “For the sufferings of this present time are nothing compared to the glory that will be revealed.”

      Looking forward to meeting you this week Dave!

  5. #7 by compassiondave on February 9, 2011 - 4:40 PM

    Me too…Counting it all joy!

  6. #8 by Erica on February 9, 2011 - 8:28 PM

    My take on this is that it is a Messianic prophecy, too, and the rejoicing mentioned is about that. David did a lot of weeping in his life — evident in the Psalms and after his first son (with Bathsheba) was born. I think blessing the Lord and praising Him is different from rejoicing. I believe that you can bless the Lord and praise Him (and give thanks) even in the midst of saddness – having full confidence in His wisdom, love, and sovereignty as no purpose of His is ever thwarted but rather brought to completion.

    It is all about His glory, even in suffering. Jesus Himself was found weeping after hearing of the death of his friend, Lazarus. Many others – such as Hannah, the mother of Samuel, wept and God heard her cries. I think of rejoicing as an occasion of celebration with joy. I don’t tend to see rejoicing in the passages of weeping and sorrow — but rather I see brutally honest sorrow of heart. The Bible also tells us that God saves all of our tears in a bottle. He is near to the broken-hearted. God didn’t design us to stuff our sorrow and put on a smile. We are told to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.

    Indeed, we do have great reason to rejoice. We are also to rejoice in the Lord. It is not always appropriate to rejoice in circumstances (e.g. when it is a time for weeping and sorrow — or weeping with those who weep). We are not to be indifferent to the suffering or joy of others. But we can always rejoice in the Lord Himself and what He has done for us.

  7. #9 by Erica on February 9, 2011 - 8:30 PM

    My take on this is that it is a Messianic prophecy, too, and the rejoicing mentioned is about that. David did a lot of weeping in his life — evident in the Psalms and after his first son (with Bathsheba) was born. I think blessing the Lord and praising Him is different from rejoicing. I believe that you can bless the Lord and praise Him (and give thanks) even in the midst of sadness – having full confidence in His wisdom, love, and sovereignty as no purpose of His is ever thwarted but rather brought to completion.

    It is all about His glory, even in suffering. Jesus Himself was found weeping after hearing of the death of his friend, Lazarus. Many others – such as Hannah, the mother of Samuel, wept and God heard her cries. I think of rejoicing as an occasion of celebration with joy. I don’t tend to see rejoicing in the passages of weeping and sorrow — but rather I see brutally honest sorrow of heart. The Bible also tells us that God saves all of our tears in a bottle. He is near to the broken-hearted. God didn’t design us to stuff our sorrow and put on a smile. We are told to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.

    Indeed, we do have great reason to rejoice. We are also to rejoice in the Lord. It is not always appropriate to rejoice in circumstances (e.g. when it is a time for weeping and sorrow — or weeping with those who weep). We are not to be indifferent to the suffering or joy of others. But we can always rejoice in the Lord Himself and what He has done for us.

    • #10 by Dave Kirby on February 11, 2011 - 12:11 AM

      Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  8. #11 by Vix Ellen on February 16, 2011 - 10:58 PM

    Thank you for the reminder that it is okay to not be okay, even though that is not how you worded it. I stumbled across your blog through somebody on Facebook. It is a blessing.

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